Recently, a fellow blogger wrote a post about being single at 27. We were born several weeks apart, so it was an especially interesting post for me to read. She noted that people had asked her how she stays so happy and positive even though she's single at 27.
Initially, I was appalled. And offended. As though there is something wrong with us because we are single at 27? And then I remembered...
There was a time in my life when I would have winced at the thought of still being single at 27. When I was in college, 27 felt like eons away. I always assumed I'd get married at 23, just like my mom, so when my cousin got married at 27 (I was 20) I thought to myself, "Thank goodness she found someone and is happy and is getting married before she's 30".
20 year old Teddi would N E V E R had believed you if you'd said to her, "You will not be married at 23. You will not be married at 25. You will NOT be married at 27. You will be lucky to be married at 30, but you'd be lucky to be married at any age, because it means you met a wonderful man and have fallen in love. You will not end up with the man you are with now. This relationship will not make it past college. You are not yet who you will become. You have to let go of him and who you are now to get there. Your life will be better than you can imagine and you will be happier than you know is possible. All while being single!"
In New York City, 27 is a spring chicken. It is not strange to be 30 and solo here. Now, would I love to meet the man of my dreams and fall head over heels and get hitched in the next few years? Absolutely. But in no way shape or form will I put myself on some sort of timeline to accomplish this. Trying to plan your future in such a way is like asking for disappointment. I know; I've done it.
When I was in Miami for an engagement party back in January, my Aunt Wendy said something really interesting to me. She said that as you get older, the boyfriends get better because as you grow and go through relationships you get closer to what you want. You cross lines and you draw them, you solidify your non-negotiables and you find out what's really important to you in a mate. Well, if this is true, I can't even fathom what's in store for me. My last boyfriend was (is) truly the best man I have ever known (other than my father) and is someone I will hold in high regard for the rest of time. I honestly don't believe it can get much better than him. I know he reads this and I hope he knows that. Aunt Wendy's theory may be slightly flawed however because the guy before him turned out to be the biggest disappointment of my life, and no I'm not afraid of hurting his feelings because he's so self-centered that he probably doesn't even know I have a blog.
You can't win 'em all.
I thought by now I'd be living in suburbia, driving a sedan, and thinking about having kids. I couldn't have been more wrong. And thank God! I'm not ready for it and can't imagine my life being so vastly different than it is now. My 'plan' didn't really pan out but I haven't lost anything... I've only gained. Knowledge and experience and self-confidence. The past five years have been a roadmap of self-discovery and while it's been a roller coaster, I wouldn't trade any of it because it got me to today, and today is good.
Last year, two of my dear friends got married. They were both 27 on their wedding day. This year, both my best friend from childhood and my best friend from college are getting married, each at 27. Does it sometimes feel like 27 is snickering at me? I can't lie. Yes. It's bizarre and humbling to remember how horrifying "single at 27" seemed and, fast forward, now feel like I am my very own poster child for it. Life is ironic... that's all there is to it.
People always say that youth is wasted on the young. I have two choices. I can sit at home, sulk and pray that the right guy will find me. Or I can go out, live my life, and BE YOUNG. Because I am. And I will not let 27 be the loneliest number. But I will let it be a hell of a fun one.